Feeling outgunned, outnumbered, overpowered, smothered, and censored? Many people who oppose Covid lockdowns and all their associated restrictions feel this way. It’s hard not to. You can hardly post on social media without triggering warnings, corrections, and sometimes outright blocks.
Bans are part of the mix too, the complete deplatforming of people merely because they want their freedoms back. It’s creepy. We never thought we would see these days but here we are.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to push restrictions – mask mandates and vaccine passports – just as it has for the past 14 months. The technology of intimidation is getting more sophisticated.
But how true is it that anti-lockdown people are a small and increasingly marginalized minority?
The most important reason why anti-lockdowners should not feel demoralized is that the facts are overwhelming on the side of freedom and traditional public health principles.
Consider for example this CDC chart of 3 states that imposed strict measures (Michigan, California, and Massachusetts), and still enforce many measures plus mask mandates, versus 3 states that have been open with no such mandates (Florida, Texas, and South Carolina). Look at the trajectory of severe outcomes from the virus:
The early spikes in Massachusetts and Michigan are obvious, tracing to a surprising extent to the number of nursing homes in each state. In Michigan, 31% of the deaths are in nursing homes, and, though the numbers in Massachusetts are always being revised, it could be anywhere from 40% to 61%.
Following that fiasco in which regulations often failed to protect the vulnerable, the trajectory of the virus follows a common pattern, reducing in severity as it mutates over time and herd immunity creates endemicity through natural immunity and vaccines. It’s the path of a respiratory virus that has been known for the better part of 100 years. Nothing surprising here. Perhaps the only real surprise in the data is how the completely open states did not perform badly compared with the closed states. Texas is a case in point. It’s open with no disaster.
The lesson: lockdown policies failed to protect the vulnerable and otherwise did little to nothing actually to suppress or otherwise control the virus. AIER has assembled fully 35 studies revealing no connection between lockdowns and disease outcomes. In addition, the Heritage Foundation has published an outstanding roundup of the Covid experience, revealing that lockdowns were largely political theater distracting from what should have been good public health practice.
Finally, it appears that even Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising a “full reopening” of New York City by July 1, a change he credits to vaccines (which is fine but unprovable) but also reflects a huge shift in public opinion. Other states are racing to open as well. These people track polls. They sense the shift.
Here’s what I see coming in the rest of the year. Once most everything is opened, and more and more people calm down from disease panic, there will be a realization, slow at first and then all at once, that what happened over these 14 months was a catastrophic disaster of public health without precedent. The collateral damage is unfathomable.
The reason why the lockdown advocates are intensifying their perception and exercise of hegemony right now is to forestall the possibility that the entire lockdown praxis will fall into massive disrepute. They will not get their way. Let the blowback begin.
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